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Mo. General Assembly votes to rename Mark McGwire Highway

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By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House has passed legislation that would remove Mark McGwire's name from I-70 in St. Louis.

The stretch of interstate was named for the retired Cardinals slugger in 1999, one year after he hit a then-major league record 70 home runs in a season.

But his reputation took a hit in 2005 when he refused to answer questions at a congressional hearing into steroid use in baseball. He admitted to steroid use earlier this year.

State Representative Rachel Storch (D, St. Louis) was one of many lawmakers who voted in favor of dropping the name "Mark McGwire Highway."

"Personally I think he should be given a second chance, he's apologized and we need to move forward, but the reality is he admitted that he cheated, and people just didn't feel comfortable with having a highway named after him anymore," Storch said.

House Member Cynthia Davis (R, O'Fallon) also voted for the name change.

"I am one of those who believes you shouldn't name anything after people till after they're deceased...people need to have heroes, but this is just yet still one reason why it is better to wait till they're really dead instead of trying to fabricate this while they're alive," Davis said.

The bill would restore I-70's original name in St. Louis, the Mark Twain Highway.

It also names a stretch of I-44 in Franklin County for Dennis Engelhard, the State Trooper who was struck and killed by a motorist on Christmas Day of last year.

The bill earlier passed the Senate. It now goes to Governor Jay Nixon.

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